If Green Mill’s walls could talk, they’d probably run out of breath before they could divulge all the stories they’ve witnessed over the years. The jazz spot’s history, which teeters on the edge of believability and local lore, began when the bar originally opened as Pop Morse’s Roadhouse in 1907. After undergoing a transformation in 1910, the newly renamed Green Mill Gardens began attracting visitors from nearby Essanay Studios, including Charlie Chaplin. Perhaps its biggest claim to fame is serving as a hangout for the infamous Al Capone, who frequented the club while his right-hand man, Jack “Machine Gun” McGurn, ran the show. While some of Capone’s favorite performers took the stage, Green Mill’s network of hidden underground tunnels were used by mobsters to transport illegal booze, facilitate law-evasion, and play cruel games of Marco Polo with new recruits. Eventually Prohibition ended and propositioning gangsters gave way to upscale crowds, a badda bing vibe, and Frank Sinatra visits. During this time, the surrounding Uptown neighborhood deteriorated, but somehow the club survived and eventually underwent a restoration in the mid-‘80s. Over the years it has appeared in films such as Thief and High Fidelity, but patrons today aren’t as concerned with keeping track of all the history as they are with kicking back and soaking in the music or slam poetry. During a typical visit, Jazz musicians tickle their instruments late into the night as well-dressed guests stop in, sidle up to the bar, and converse in respectfully hushed voices while downing stiff drinks.
At Agami, Executive Chef Kye is not just interested in the taste of food, but in the complete sensual experience of eating it. Those who order the garlic delight specialty sushi roll will feel the warmth of the Bacardi 151 flame it's served upon. Meanwhile, those biting into a salt sun flower roll will hear the crunch of sunflower seeds, and those admiring the wild fire roll will see a colorful combination of red snapper, guacamole, and mango pico de gallo. Sushi is certainly the restaurant's specialty, but it's not all that's served here?in addition to specialty maki, nigiri, and sashimi, there's also sushi-inspired entrees as well as a kitchen menu with dishes such as steamed dumplings and teriyaki chicken.
The attempt to create a wholly experiential dining experience doesn't stop with the food. The modern restaurant was designed with high ceilings, textured walls, and seaweed sculptures, all to create the feeling of being under the sea. Underwater scenes are projected on video screens, and a lucite bottle rack behind the bar resembles bubbling ocean waters. Concentric half-circles separate the traditional dining room, lounge area, and bar, the latter two of which are open until 1 am on Friday and Saturday nights.
At Habibi Restaurant & Cuisine, the aromas of Middle Eastern spiced meat and kebabs mingle with the fragrant smoke of more than 75 tobacco flavors drifting from the hookah bar. Flavorful veggie stews, fresh salads, and hearty couscous adorn plates with the colorful cuisine of the Levant, and free WiFi and weekend entertainment including live music and belly dancing keeps eyes occupied. Delicate chandeliers illuminate Habibi’s plush couches, soft cushion seats, and rows of tables dressed in red linens. Ancient Egyptian sentinels stand guard over half-finished dinners, peering down from artwork hanging from the dimly lit walls.
As its name suggests, the Daily Bar and Grill is open daily. Its bartenders pour beers and whip up cocktails to be enjoyed at the dark, wooden bar by themselves, or alongside comfort foods such as the Daily’s signature half-pound burgers or mini corn dogs. Open in Lincoln Square since 1993, the bar also features a leafy outdoor patio and a 30- to 50-guest party room with red-velvet drapes, oriental rugs sewn from abandoned handlebar mustaches, and other vintage elements.
Originally founded in 1957, Old Town School of Folk Music teaches and facilitates performances of arts rooted in the traditions of diverse American and global communities. More than 700 accredited music, dance, theater, and visual-arts courses expand the cultural horizons of students of all ages and abilities, and more than 300 concerts and events reach more than 200,000 audience members every year.
Founder Frank Hamilton hoped that through his nonprofit academy "teacher and student would be partners in learning." Today, the school continues that tradition, fostering supportive learning environments that draw from an accessible education model. The school also presents performances by internationally known touring artists and Chicago's local artists?as well as its own staff and students?nearly every weekend, with free world-music concerts on Wednesday nights. Old Town School operates three facilities in Lincoln Park and Lincoln Square, including one 425-seat and two 150-seat concert halls, 64 classrooms, two music stores, a caf?, and a resource center.